No Guilty Verdict - No Punishment!

How many people go before a judge praying that this will be their verdict - not guilty, no punishment. That is what God promises us and in Romans: 8-1,2 speaks directly to no guilty verdict, no punishment. When you get used to feeling guilty it feels odd to live a day and then realize that you didn't feel that slow deep ache. It is something like living with constant pain in your physical body. After a while, you grow accustomed to having the sensation and it becomes part of what you expect to feel every day. Then when relief comes you realize how rehabilitating it has been to your life and you wonder how you dealt with it all that time. Getting rid of guilt and shame is the same only on the psychological level. When you read Hebrews 10: 11, 12 it tells us that there is nothing for us to do. The price has been paid, the sacrifice has been made and no amount of wallowing is going to change anything.

The last thing I want to be is a Debby Downer, one of those people who claim to believe and trust in God but continually go on and on about past shortcomings and how I need to make restitution to God. That is just now how it works. Pretty simple - confess, apologize, and do better not confess, apologize, and gravel and repeat. Take God at his word, he has promised that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9). Nowhere in that verse are there exceptions to that promise. Sometimes we seem to forget that God doesn't work like the world. There seem to be exceptions to every rule and depending on who you are, who you are related to, or how much money you have the rules can change. Not so in the family of Christ. There are no exceptions. If you proclaim God as your lord and savior then you are one of the family and the promises are true and exactly the same for us all. Nice change compared to the foolishness and loopholed filled world we have to maneuver through each and every day.

The hard part is when the flesh and the spirit do not agree on how things should proceed. The flesh, what we want, and the spirit, what God wants, can battle. My past is completely riddled with examples of how when you go with the flesh you get a minute's satisfaction and years of hurt and turmoil. There were situations that caused me to feel condemnation, guilt, and shame. However, now I look back on them and consider them all lessons of life. They are part of my testimony and they show the new me that regardless of how far I ran from God he was there all the time protecting me and showing me ways out.

At the times, there was pain and I should have been ashamed as I know better but didn't care and figured I had taken care of everything and didn't need anyone's help. Have you ever heard such foolish - really!! My stumbling blocks now provide me with great empathy towards others who are either stumbling, feeling guilt and shame, or whatever stage they are at in the process.

The only word of advice I can give anyone is to give it to God. Forgive yourself first and foremost. There will always be people who may not accept your apology and there will be others who do accept the apology but choose to not be part of your life anymore and both of these reactions are totally acceptable. There is no more anyone can do then sincerely apologize and move forward. You will note the word sincerely, there is no point apologizing if you do not mean it or if you habitually do the same hurtful thing things over and over. If either of these is true of your behaviors, save your breath to blow on your soup. You are wasting the time of everyone involved.

Sincerity and honesty usually walk hand in hand and if you aren't being honest then it is my opinion that you can never be sincere. It is all intertwined and honesty, sincerity, humility, faith, trust, and love...etc. All these attributes we should possess as a child of God go hand in hand and when one truly fails the deck of cards comes tumbling down. Thank heavens for God's unconditional love and favor. God waits for us to get real and then he reaches down and lifts us back up.

I know my life experience is a real example of Psalms 40:2 because eh truly did lift me out of the miry clay and set my feet on a rock and a firm place to stand and to build my life. Every day is a battle but if I remember my armor I do so much better but on the days I figure I can go it alone, I limp back, grab my armor, right after I lick my wounds and remind myself I am truly powerless without God and back at it I go.

Do yourself a favor, remember your armor. The arrows that Satan and the world shoot at you really hurt.

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